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MINUTES
MGSA GENERAL MEETING
Thursday April 15th, 2004
EJB Rm. 216, 7pm

 

1. Meeting called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chair Jackie Shin

2. Introductions / Members Present
 
3. Announcements (Leanne)
- attendance
- introduction to MGSA

4. Summary of Previous Meetings (Jackie) [also see 7.]
- key access committee
- conference
- Dean’s 5 Year Plan
- library committee

5. Constitutional Amendment:
Presentation of motion (Luis)
        
PROPOSED AMENDMENT:
IV. 3. Eligibility:

3.1 "All regular members of the Association and all Officers of the Executive
are eligible to hold office."
3.2 "Any member, regular or executive should have served at least one previous
term on the council to be eligible for the Presidency or Vice-Presidency, to
ensure that both officers are sufficiently prepared for the responsibilities of
their office."

Discussion:

Luis – options for amendments to the amendment: because it is already difficult
to get volunteers this could be treated as a policy statement (recommended
procedure) as opposed to a change to the constitution; it could also be changed
to apply only to the position of president
[see 6. for the resolution of this discussion]

Lindsay – to ensure continuity throughout the summer we could elect the
president in the spring
        Luis – this would exclude new students
        Michelle – does the GSU elect in the spring? (Yes)

Luis – clarification of GSU policy – execs must be a student for 6 months to
run; otherwise they only recommend that execs should have served a year

Colin – why is this motion being presented?
Luis – concern about the experience necessary to hold exec positions; these
positions are a lot of work and there are many idiosyncratic aspects of the
MGSA that rely on continuity from year to year to be executed effectively
Eleanor – further emphasis on experience

Luis – this is especially important for the conference
Eleanor – this year the conference was at an international level; this takes a
qualified person to organize
Michelle – if VP is responsible for the conference then the VP should
definitely be included in the wording of the amendment
David/Leanne – clarification – historically the VP has been responsible for the
conference but there is nothing in the constitution that enforces this;
therefore this point is irrelevant in terms of the amendment

Christopher – request for clarification about the conference
Eleanor – addressed this

Laura – what are the constitutional duties of the P and VP?
Jackie – reads the constitutional descriptions of the P and VP
[the following discussion should be addressed by next year’s council]

Laura – how often does the MGSA council meet and how are issues from the
student body addressed?
Jackie – the council meets once a month and council members try to communicate
with the student body

Michelle – refers to minutes from November meeting in which the council
addressed the issue of the general membership attending council meetings; the
minutes state that members are welcome to attend but meetings are generally not
advertised
  
David – objection to motion on the following grounds: it is unnecessary; it is
undemocratic; it sends the wrong message to limit eligibility (historically we
have worked to include more people and to represent more diverse groups)

Jackie – objection to motion: it is undemocratic; members should decide based
on the presentation of the candidates at the election meeting (relates this to
Federal politics); we should move toward inclusion, not exclusion
Eleanor – Federal politics are not relevant because we do not have the time or
means to run campaigns
Tawnie – Jackie did campaign and won
David – yes, we do have campaigns
Eleanor – yes, but these need to effectively convey the candidates to the
student body

Dana – Lindsay’s idea might help with this; if the student body knew the person
from the current year they would be in a better position to elect them at that
time; in September new students don’t know what experience or background the
candidates have to offer [again refer to 6.]

Svetlana – request for clarification of “continuity”
Eleanor – to ensure that the MGSA functions throughout the summer
Leanne – the orientation meeting in September is important so it is crucial
that someone advertises and organizes this meeting

Jackie – since many current council members are not going to be returning
amendments should be made by next year’s council
Kate – request for show of hands: who will be here next year to serve on the
council?; without continuity or experience an entirely new council will not be
able to be effective
Eleanor – for example, it took two years to institute the positions of
disciplinary reps

Christopher – request for clarification of motion
Luis – three separate issues: 1) motion as an amendment to the constitution 2)
motion as a policy paper or recommendation for next year’s elections 3)
election of president in the spring

Christopher – objection to motion: people who want to gain experience should
choose this option but should not be limited by it
Michelle – in this case perhaps it would be best left as a suggestion
Laura – presidents should organize fall meeting now
Dana – electing a president now would ensure continuity
Eleanor – another benefit: in theory the president-elect could be mentored
Leanne – clarification of duties of president during the summer and September
meeting

Christopher – would it be possible to have a later election after a short
campaign in the fall?
Eleanor – this would leave the student body without governance
Sarah – postponing elections would put things behind that need to be organized
right away (conference/head grant)
Jackie – why is there a problem for next year’s meeting?
Leanne – essentially there isn’t

Jackie – END OF DISCUSSION

Luis – decision to make a friendly amendment to the motion: Luis moves to put
it forward as a policy not as a change to the constitution

Svetlana – request for clarification
Luis/David/Eleanor – clarification

VOTE:
Yes 8
No 13
Abstain 0
Motion failed

6. Spring Election of President [See portions of above discussion]

Lindsay: BIRT we elect a president in the spring

Discussion

Eleanor – should VP also be elected? If they are not tied to the responsibility
of running the conference then they would not need to be elected in the spring

Christopher – is the conference before the spring election?

Eleanor – the person running the conference needs time to prepare; but...see
above

David – object to the motion: in spirit it is good but it is practically wrong
Michelle – it might only be practical to elect the P in the spring
Luis – agree, elect P in the spring

Colin – why impractical?
David – it is too late for this year and we should not make a decision for next
year

Luis – the motion could be tabled

All in agreement: TABLED

7. Exec Reports

a) library rep (not present)

b) key/access committee

Sarah – summary of actions and circulated a report

Luis – suggestion that this could be posted on the website

Michelle – perhaps wait until after next meeting with the Dean

c) Dean’s 5 Year Plan Committee

Luis/Michelle/Jackie – summary of actions of committee
Leanne – this could also be posted on the website

8. Adjournment 8:20 p.m.